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Afghan Shiites stunned but not broken by mosque blast

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Afghan Shiites stunned but not broken by mosque blast

The imam had just led his congregation in a chorus of "Allahu Akhbar" (God is Greatest) when Abbas recalls hearing
a "terrible sound" before being knocked to the ground.

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"It was a noise I had never experienced in my 24 years," he told AFP from his hospital bed in the northern Afghan
city of Kunduz.

Now Abbas knows that a suicide attacker had detonated his bomb, ripping through the crowd during Friday prayers
at the Gozar-e-Sayed mosque and instantly killing dozens of Shiite worshippers.

But despite the distress and his injuries, Abbas vowed to continue his work as a prayer caller (muezzin) and reciter
(Qari) at the mosque, saying he sees it as his "human responsibility" to carry on.

Friday's blast killed around 100 Shiite Muslims, according to locals, the latest in a string of attacks on Afghanistan's
minority community, considered heretics by Sunni Muslim extremists like the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) group,
which claimed the attack.

Disoriented and realising his leg was injured, Abbas dragged himself to the side of the octagonal room.

"I was afraid of a second explosion so I and some others threw ourselves out of the window," he said.

He then crawled from the scene and was taken to hospital by rickshaw.

Lying in the orthopaedics ward, wrapped in blue sheets and with bandages on his right arm and leg due to shrapnel
wounds, he said those responsible for the carnage were "worse than animals".

Some work was only supposed to be carried out by men, she said, adding though that generally,
"we will continue our work as before".

Ghulam Rabbani Sherzai, a junior doctor in the main ward, described the heavy strain of dealing with mass

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